Hotels are playing an ever greater role in the investment portfolios of property investors, especially those of real estate investment companies (REICs). Since the start of the year firms in the sector have spent more than 130 million euros on existing hotel properties and buildings they intend to turn into hotels.

Last week BriQ Properties, an Info-Quest group company, acquired the Mr And Mrs White Paros four-star hotel from HotelBrain. The latter will remain the property’s leaseholder, continuing its operation. The investment in the 4,468-square meter, 49-room unit amounted to 3.5 million euros.

Anna Apostolidou, chief executive at BriQ, tells Kathimerini that her company’s entry into the accommodation and hotel property sector is a significant move with multiple benefits: First, the returns offered are higher than in other property categories, as besides the minimum guaranteed rent, REICs also typically collect a share of the hotel’s turnover, provided it exceeds a certain level; then there is also the expectation of a future rise in property values, thanks to the constant growth of the tourism sector. “We believe there is hidden capital value in many existing hotel properties, which could be highlighted through better management,” Apostolidou explains.

These views are shared by the entire sector, as moves by other REICs illustrate: For instance, NBG Pangaea has invested 18.2 million euros in the purchase of two hotels in Thessaloniki and Nicosia, both leased by companies belonging to the Zeus International group that operates them.

Pangaea’s next moves include the completion of renovation work on the building at 66 Ermou Street in central Athens, which is also destined to become tourism accommodation. Its acquisition cost was 5.7 million while its transformation into a hotel has been put at 1.3 million euros.